Consultations Resume over Next Lebanese PM
Lebanese President Michel Aoun continued consultations with politicians on Thursday over a nominee to form the next government and lead it. Former prime minister Saad al-Hariri resigned in late October due to widespread anti-government protests, and efforts to establish a new governing coalition have been held up, primarily over his refusal to reconsider. While Hariri is unpopular in the streets yet he is seen as the preferred candidate by some of the country’s powerful outside backers, such as Saudi Arabia. Lebanon is beset by crippling foreign debt, rampant cronyism and a long history of divisive sectarianism, all of which has led to what is probably the leading slogan of the two-month-long protests: “All of them means all of them,” a reference to demonstrators’ demands for a clean slate in all respects.